November 24, 2020 – Department of Health Report

Thirty eight (38) new cases added Tuesday in Lycoming County now at 1,793 cases, no new deaths, 35 total deaths, with 18,522 negatives according to DOH report.

Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19:

3,459 Patients Hospitalized and 767 Patients in the Intensive Care Unit

6,669 Additional Positive Cases of COVID-19

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 24, that there were 6,669 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 321,070.

There are 3,459 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 767 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

The trend in the 14-day moving average of number of hospitalized patients per day has increased by nearly 2,200 since the end of September.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of November 13 – November 19 stood at 11.1%.

The most accurate daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between November 17 and November 23 is 405,883 with 49,539 positive cases. There were 38,668 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., November 23.

As of 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 23, there were 81 new deaths reported for a total of 9,951 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 13,617 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 643 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 2,723,368 individuals who have tested negative to date. Of those who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

  • Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
  • Nearly 3% are ages 5-12;
  • Nearly 6% are ages 13-18;
  • Nearly 13% are ages 19-24;
  • Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
  • Approximately 21% are ages 50-64; and
  • Nearly 20% are ages 65 or older.

The department has seen significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. An alert was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics. Increases among 19 to 24-year-olds from April to present in November are available below:

  • NC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 17 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NE – 6 percent of cases in April to approximately 13 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 11 percent of cases so far in November; and
  • SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 9 percent of cases so far in November.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 32,536 resident cases of COVID-19, and 6,437 cases among employees, for a total of 38,973 at 1,228 distinct facilities in 64 counties. Out of our total deaths, 6,292 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 14,146 of our total cases are among health care workers.
 

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Nov. 23:
 

 

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.

Department of State Certifies Presidential Election Results 

Harrisburg, PA – Following certifications of the presidential vote submitted by all 67 counties late Monday, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today certified the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania for president and vice president of the United States.

Shortly thereafter, as required by federal law, Governor Tom Wolf signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joseph R. Biden as president and Kamala D. Harris as vice president of the United States. The certificate was submitted to the Archivist of the United States.

The Certificate of Ascertainment included the following vote totals:

        Electors for Democratic Party candidates Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris – 3,458,229

        Electors for Republican Party candidates Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence – 3,377,674

        Electors for Libertarian Party candidates Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Spike Cohen – 79,380

“Today’s certification is a testament to the incredible efforts of our local and state election officials, who worked tirelessly to ensure Pennsylvania had a free, fair and accurate process that reflects the will of the voters,” said Gov. Wolf.

“We are tremendously grateful to all 67 counties who have been working extremely long hours to ensure that every qualified voter’s vote is counted safely and securely.  The county election officials and the poll workers are the true heroes of our democracy, enabling us to vote in record numbers, amid challenging circumstances, so that every eligible voter’s voice could be heard,” Sec. Boockvar said.

Wolf Admin. Reminds Family Caregivers About Resources Available to Help Them During COVID-19 Pandemic

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Departments of Aging (PDA) and Human Services (DHS) today reminded Pennsylvanians who serve as caregivers for either a family member or a close friend that there are resources available to help them as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“Family caregiving has many faces in Pennsylvania. They are adults taking care of aging parents or other relatives, grandparents raising grandchildren, or a non-relative caregiver, such as a close family friend, raising a child whose parents cannot care for them,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “No matter whom they are caring for, all caregivers may need some type of support, whether it’s emotional, financial or legal. With the COVID-19 emergency, the need for such assistance may even be greater.”

PDA offers resources for caregivers of adults and children. It oversees the Caregiver Support Program (CSP), which helps to ease the stresses of caregiving. All of these resources can be found here. Improving and increasing support for caregivers in Pennsylvania is one of PDA’s objectives in its State Plan on Aging, which went into effect on October 1.

In September, the PDA and DHS jointly announced the launching of KinConnector.org, a resource designed to help kinship care families connect to services and supports that can help children and their caregivers. KinConnector also runs a helpline that can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111) and supports callers needing assistance in English and Spanish.

“We know that this year has been a tough time for many, and it is okay to feel stressed or anxious. But whether you are a grandparent caring for your grandchildren, someone who lost their job due to the pandemic, or someone who just needs extra assistance to make ends meet, know that you do not have to go through this time alone,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “DHS offers many resources to help you through these hard times, and nobody should feel like they should have to go without food or health insurance because they are struggling. I encourage all Pennsylvanians who may need help to reach out – we are here for you.”

Earlier this year, DHS launched the statewide Support & Referral Helpline – a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions. The helpline caseworkers can help counsel and refer you to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. Pennsylvanians can contact the statewide Support and Referral Helpline at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.

Pennsylvanians can also apply for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other public assistance programs online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Those who prefer to submit paper applications can print from the website or request an application by phone at 1-800-692-7462 and mail it to their local County Assistance Office (CAO) or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. Dropping applications off at a CAO using the drop box can help avoid an application delay due to postal service delays. While CAOs remain closed to the public, work processing applications, determining eligibility, and issuing benefits continues.

For more information on resources available for kinship families and grandparents raising grandchildren, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

Learn more about other programs offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging here.

PA Unites Against COVID-19

With COVID cases on the rise across the state, we must continue to unite against the spread. Together, when we make good choices and follow health and safety measures, we see results.

Yesterday Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced new efforts in the fight against the virus. Help us slow the spread and keep our family, friends, neighbors, and businesses safe.

Keeping Businesses, Customers, & Employees Safe
Businesses play a critical role in protecting workers, customers, suppliers, and the general public. Yesterday the Wolf Administration issued the Mitigation, Enforcement, and Immunity Order that consolidates previous business orders and includes reiterating cleaning and social distancing requirements, mandatory telework requirements, unless impossible, and other safety measures.

To help with enforcement of existing masking orders in businesses, those businesses that maintain in-person operations and are open to the public will receive immunity from civil liability only as it relates to the Secretary’s masking order given that individuals and entities are engaged in essential emergency services activities and disaster services activities when enforcing the order.

Events & Gatherings
To help slow the spread of COVID, businesses must reduce their indoor and outdoor capacity for events or gatherings. Those venues must determine their occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code and then apply the attendee calculator to determine how many attendees are permitted to attend the event or gathering. These new occupancy restrictions apply only to distinct events or gatherings, and not regular business operations such as restaurant service or retail shopping. An event or gathering is a temporary grouping of individuals for defined purposes, that takes place over a limited timeframe, such as hours or days.
Maximum Occupancy for indoor events:
Maximum Occupancy
Allowable Indoor Rate
0 – 2,000 people
10% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people
5% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people
No events over 500 people
Maximum Occupancy for outdoor events:
Maximum Occupancy
Allowable Outdoor Rate
0 – 2,000 people
15% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people
10% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people
5% of Maximum Capacity up to 2,500
With the upcoming holidays, gatherings are not advised to be held with guests that are not part of your immediate household. To learn more about holiday gathering safety tips, visit the pa.gov/COVID website.
 
Specifically, to address large holiday crowds, on Nov. 25, 2020 only, all sales or the dispensing of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at businesses in the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end at 5PM. Read more about the Retail Food Services Mitigation Order. 
 

Indoor dining may continue, and takeout is strongly encouraged.

Enforcement

Together, we can and will defeat the virus. We are in the fall resurgence of COVID and as Pennsylvanians, we must do everything we can to stop the spread.
Orders already in place and those announced yesterday are enforceable. Law enforcement and state agencies will be ramping their efforts with the issuing of citations and fines. Individuals and businesses who fail to comply with an order may be fined $25 – $300 dollars.
The following orders must be followed:
  • Out of state travel
  • Mask-wearing
  • Business safety, including telework, occupancy, cleaning, social distancing
  • Restaurant mitigation, including occupancy, masking, social distancing,
    self-certification
  • Gathering limits
  • School attestation and mitigation
Individuals with concerns of possible COVID-19 health and safety violations in a workplace can submit a complaint to the PA Department of Health (DOH). Following a complaint, the DOH will send a warning letter to the business of potential consequences, including fines and closure if the business is not compliant with the current
mitigation orders.
Included in these efforts and the new enforcement order, local governments have now been granted the authority and guidance on enforcement of the various COVID-19 orders in place. Local leaders can implement their own orders, ordinances, or directives in order to protect health and safety as long as they are stricter than those mandated by the state.

Protect Your Community

COVID is tough, but together, Pennsylvanians are tougher. United, we can defeat the virus. You matter, and so do your actions.
Let’s work together to stop the spread. For more information about what you can do to protect yourself, your family, business, neighbors, and community from COVID, visit PA.GOV/COVID. Check out our Community Resources for downloadable posters, social media materials, and other free marketing materials. 

Questions?

For more details about what you can do to help achieve our common goal of defeating the virus, visit the PA Unites Against COVID website.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Financial Scams

Harrisburg, PA – As the holiday shopping season begins, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) and Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are sharing tips to help Pennsylvanians spot scams and protect their money and personal information.

“An increasing number of consumers are expected to shop online this holiday season because of the pandemic,” said Secretary of Banking and Securities Richard Vague. “Scam artists will look to take advantage of this fact and use every tactic available to try and obtain your sensitive financial information for nefarious purposes.”

The PSP works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to investigate fraud and scams. Scam and fraud activity also tend to increase during times of tragedy or emergency, making it dually important for consumers to be vigilant this year.

“Scammers are especially active during the holidays, as spending, online shopping, and charitable giving increase,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Their tactics evolve with technology, but several of the most prevalent scams have existed for decades. These sophisticated criminals can steal thousands of dollars from hundreds of miles away, so we urge everyone to remain vigilant and to know the warning signs.”

Three common scams to look out for this year include:

  • Phishing E-mail Scams. Phishing emails are a common tactic used by scammers to get sensitive information. Sophisticated techniques include replicating merchant email templates with harmful links designed to obtain usernames and passwords, and potentially sensitive financial information.
  • Skimming and E-skimming Device Scams. Skimming devices capture the information from the black magnetic strip on debit or credit cards at the point of sale device or ATM machine. Last year, criminals infected a merchant’s website with a digital version of the same technology.
  • Gift Card Fraud. Scammers use a computer program or “bot” to test millions of random combinations of numbers and pins at retailer websites. Once they find a combination that works, they use all the funds available to make purchases, or sell the information on the dark web. When the real owner of the card tries to use it to make the legitimate purchase, they find there are no funds available on the card.

Six strategies that can help Pennsylvanians protect themselves include:

  1. Monitor your accounts. Frequently check your financial accounts for any debits or withdrawals you do not recognize.
  2. Never follow links in unsolicited emails. Check that any emails you receive are from a correct email address.
  3. Type the website directly into your browser. Pay attention to your spelling and double check that it is a U.S. domain – like dot-com, rather than an international domain – before entering any sensitive information.
  4. Be wary of any transaction involving checks. Never send anything via Western Union or prepaid cards to someone previously unknown to you. When possible, use a credit card, single-use debit card, or prepaid reloadable card for online purchases.
  5. When in doubt, hang up. Never provide credit card info as part of an unsolicited phone call and think twice if you’re being pressured to donate “right now.”
  6. Be skeptical. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Know the “red flags” of scams and fraud and who to contact if you believe you are a victim. Stop and ask yourself a few simple questions to help detect and prevent this from happening to you:

  • Has someone contacted you unexpectedly? If you weren’t expecting a phone call or didn’t initiate the contact, it should be a red flag.
  • Have they promised you something? If they’re offering you something that seems too good to be true, it’s a red flag.
  • Have they asked you to do something? Are they asking you for money or account information? If you didn’t initiate the conversation, do not provide it.

The PSP reminds Pennsylvanians who have fallen victim to a scam to contact their financial institution and local police department. Additionally, victims can make a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Department of Banking and Securities staff will be presenting “Black Friday Scams: What To Be Aware Of,” informing consumers about detecting and avoiding holiday scams, from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Tuesday, November 24, and 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM on Wednesday November 25.

Anyone can contact the DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-722-2657 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.

Check out the publication: “Scams: Protect Yourself. Protect Your Money”

Coppin State Women’s Basketball Cancels Saturday’s Home Opener Against La Salle 

BALTIMORE – Coppin State’s women’s basketball home opener scheduled for Saturday, November 28 against La Salle, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

The Eagles, under first-year head coach Laura Harper, open the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, November 25 at Penn State.  Tipoff from Happy Valley is set for 6 pm and will be aired on B1G Network Plus.

Wolf Admin. Reminds Pennsylvanians Experiencing Anxiety, Loneliness, Stress Amidst Holiday Season That They Are Not Alone 

Harrisburg, PA – As the holidays are near, the Wolf Administration today shared resources for people struggling with anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation, and other stressors. The holidays can be both a time of joy and a period of stress for people, depending on their circumstances. Mental well-being is an important part of everyone’s overall good health and remains a priority for the administration amid the ongoing pandemic.

Mental Health

People who experience feelings of anxiety or depression may experience more distress during the holiday season than during non-holiday times. Given the challenges we are all currently facing, all Pennsylvanians should take extra care to be mindful of their mental health and tend to their overall health and wellness during this time. Check in with yourself, be honest about how you are feeling to yourself and your support network, and if you need someone to talk to or a little extra support, help is available.

“This year has challenged all of us in ways that we could not have anticipated, and whether you normally deal with feelings of depression or anxiety or you are experiencing these for the first time, your feelings are valid,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller. “The holiday season and our family traditions will look different this year because it’s what we must do to keep each other safe, but there can be a grief that comes from that. No matter what you are feeling this year, please know that you do not have to endure it alone. Talk to your loved ones, talk to your support network, and don’t be afraid to make a call to resources that exist to help.”

DHS’ mental health support & referral helpline, Persevere PA, is available 24/7 and is a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions. The helpline caseworkers can refer callers to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. Pennsylvanians can contact Persevere PA at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.

If you or someone you love is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by calling 1-800-273-8255. The hotline is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can offer free, confidential support. Spanish speakers who need immediate assistance can call 1-888-628-9454. Help can also be accessed through the Crisis Text Line by texting “PA” to 741-741.

The Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) was established as part of Governor Wolf’s Reach Out PA initiative in July 2019. To date, OAR has established a plan to build a trauma-informed Pennsylvania by gathering a team of cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners in the field of trauma and how the brain heals from its effects to form a think tank. This volunteer group focused exclusively on setting guidelines and benchmarks for trauma-informed care across the commonwealth. Trauma-informed care needs to be included in the narrative about comprehensive mental wellness services and supports. OAR also hired the state’s first Child Advocate whose role is to help protect the state’s most vulnerable – another goal of the Reach Out PA initiative.

Substance Use Disorder

The holidays may also be difficult for individuals with a substance use disorder or people in recovery, especially if they become stressed by changes to their schedule or daily routine, are not able to see their support network in-person, have strained or non-existent relationships with family members, or are faced with potential triggers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous time of the year for substance use and alcohol-related deaths are around the holiday months.

“We understand how difficult it is not being together with our loved ones during the holidays. However, it is essential that we stop all gatherings, even small gatherings, to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Ray Barishansky, deputy secretary for health preparedness and community protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. “We must not lose sight, however, of the opioid epidemic that still rages on in our communities. This is the time to enhance prevention and rescue strategies to be sure this trend does not continue. Together, we can all help each other.”

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs also maintains a toll-free helpline that connects callers looking for treatment options for themselves or a loved one to resources in their community. You can reach the Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The helpline is available 24/7 – including on Thanksgiving Day. An anonymous chat service offering the same information to individuals who may not be comfortable speaking on the phone is also available at www.ddap.pa.gov.

Naloxone is still available to all Pennsylvanians through Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s standing order, and carrying this on-hand at all times can be a life-saving action. The Wolf Administration encourages all Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the standing order to obtain Naloxone over the holidays. Learn more about how to obtain naloxone at www.pa.gov/opioids.

Older Pennsylvanians

Because the risk of COVID-19 is more acute among older Pennsylvanians, we must be diligent about protecting our older loved ones from potential exposure to the virus. This distance undoubtedly creates difficulties, but regular communication can help families stay connected while they are not able to be together in person.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Council on Aging (PCoA) recently released an interactive guide with information and resources to help older adults cultivate a healthy mind, body and spirit amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide, titled “SOLO: Strengthening Older Lives Online,” was produced by PCoA’s Risk Reduction Committee, which is made up of older adults and was formed in response to the council’s State of Older Adults Report released in May 2020. The committee is an extension of the Social Isolation Task Force formed in 2019 to help mitigate social isolation among seniors.

“According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, from May to October of 2020, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of older adults who stated that their mental health has been negatively affected by COVID-19, with 25 percent of older adults stating that they feel anxiety or depression due to the pandemic,” said PCoA Executive Director Faith Haeussler. “The PCoA’s own survey of older adults during the pandemic told us they are looking for community connection and open to using more communication technology. SOLO was designed to empower older adults to address and manage the multiple stressors of COVID-19 affecting mental and physical well-being. The SOLO guide is a user-friendly self-empowering tool for older adults to access resources according to their own preferences and at their own pace.” 

The SOLO guide is designed to go beyond some of the physical safety reminders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using bold, color graphics, the guide incorporates ways for aging adults to combat some of the pervasive stressors exacerbated by the pandemic while helping them live their best lives.

Tools available in the guide include:

  • Activities and videos to help stay mentally, spiritually, and physically fit;
  • Resources available to assist with those three areas; and,
  • Short questionnaires to build active health plans.

The interactive health and wellness guide is available in English here and in Spanish here.

Kinship Families

The Wolf Administration also wants grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins who are finding themselves caring for children who lost parents or whose parents are not able to be their primary caregiver to know that help is available via the KinConnector helpline. The helpline is staffed by Kinship Navigators – compassionate, knowledgeable social service professionals prepared to help families locate, understand, and access resources that may be able to help them during the holiday season. It can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111) or online at www.kinconnector.org.

DOH Nov. 8-14 Update on COVID-19 Investigations, Contact Tracing, Monitoring Efforts: Pennsylvanians Urged to “Answer the Call” and Download the COVID App

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Health today shared its weekly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data and encouraged Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app to aid in contact tracing efforts.

“Pennsylvania continues to see more cases rise each day. With counts above 5,000, 6,000, and now over 7,000 cases reported per day, we will need to prioritize case investigations to prevent outbreaks,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It is important for Pennsylvanians to be united and do their part to prevent the spread in their communities. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, wear a mask, avoid gatherings, and download the COVID Alert PA app on your phone to be notified if you came into contact with someone who later tested positive.”

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, notifying, and monitoring anyone who came in close contact with an individual who has COVID-19 while that individual was infectious. The contact tracing process is not possible without a case investigation by a public health professional. Case investigators make the initial call to those with positive COVID-19 test results spending 30 to 60 minutes asking questions to ensure all potential close contacts are identified.

Between Sunday, November 8 and Saturday, November 14, there were 34,719 COVID-19 cases statewide and 23 percent of all cases had a case investigation started within 24 hours of receiving the positive report. Public health professionals will continue calling to complete the case investigation after the 24-hour period. An additional 7 percent of all cases had a case investigation started within 48 hours. There were 8,332 people, or 24 percent of cases, in this reported week that were successfully contacted by a public health professional statewide. Cases investigations are being prioritized to address those cases that present the highest likelihood of leading to an outbreak.

After the initial case investigation is complete, contact tracing begins. Within the same time period of November 8 to November 14, there were 1,633 contact tracing staff working with local and county health entities, partner organizations and the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program within the Department of Human Services as well as volunteers from Co-County Wellness in Berks County and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. These staff monitored 11,550 contacts who were identified during the case investigations. That is an increase of 3,155 contacts compared to last week.

Currently, all of the allotted 1,000 people have been hired through a partnership with Insight Global. Some of these contact tracers have been promoted to perform case investigations to meet the immediate needs of increased caseloads. There are 40 supervisors, 12 regional field managers and coordinators, and 10 care coordinators who will help to refer Pennsylvanians to services during quarantine across the commonwealth.

Since the implementation of the Contact Tracing Management System in early October through November 14 in those areas of the state where Pennsylvania Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing, there have been:

  • 34,000 contacts have been processed for areas where PA DOH has jurisdiction;
  • 25,500 people, or 75 percent of the total contacts identified, have been effectively reached to communicate their quarantine status and offer ongoing symptom monitoring;
  • 6,500 people, or about 19 percent of the total contacts, were not reached; and
  • 1,800 were still in the process of being contacted.

On September 22, the department launched COVID Alert PA, a free mobile app that uses Bluetooth technology to let a person know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 without compromising the identity or location of either the person using the app, or of the person to whom they may have been exposed. There have been over 555,000 downloads thus far, and on average 42,000 individuals are logging their symptoms on a daily basis

In addition to the traditional case investigations and contact tracing process, there have been 294 cases that confirmed their positivity and uploaded their random ID’s through the app, which generated exposure alerts to those phones, who have the app and were in close contact (six feet for 15 minutes or more). These prompted 116 exposure alerts to be sent out to other app users to notify them of their exposure. Of those who receives the alerts, 20 individuals requested a call back for further assistance by a trained contact tracer.

As the contact tracing program expands, the Department of Health continues to work in partnership with over 150 organizations, in addition to the county and municipal health departments, through regional partnerships to help gather and answer questions, identify problems and find solutions to improve contact tracing efforts within the region. Each regional partnership has met at least once, and includes public health staff, health providers, academic institutions, community organizations, and other stakeholders interested in helping to coordinate and engage around contact tracing efforts.

Organizations and entities interested in partnering in these efforts should reach out to RA-DHCONTACTTRACING@pa.gov.

You can find more information on the state’s contact tracing efforts at the Department of Health’s website here.

Pennsylvanians are reminded that mask-wearing is required when visiting businesses or in any setting outside the home where social distancing is difficult. Remember: My mask protects you; your mask protects me.

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement November 20-22: 227 Compliance Checks; 10 Notices of Violation

 
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 227 licensed liquor establishments from Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22 to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking, and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code.
Liquor Control Enforcement Officers issued 10 notices of violation and 33 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. As mandated by the liquor code, a notice of violation precedes the issuance of an administrative citation, which is civil in nature, and is intended to provide licensed liquor establishments notification of the nature of violation(s) discovered. The investigation remains open during this period, pending review by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE). Because the investigation is ongoing, names of establishments issued a notice of violation will not be released at this time. Each BLCE district office posts a monthly public information release that includes details on citations issued by that office.
Compliance checks are unannounced and can occur anywhere in the commonwealth, although the focus is on areas experiencing higher coronavirus transmission rates. Among other requirements, all businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct in-person activities are mandated to:
  • Require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business (face masks may be removed while seated). Further, employees are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Provide at least six feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.
  • Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.
Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement | November 20-22, 2020
​TOTAL LICENSEE CHECKS
WARNINGS RELATED TO COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS
NOTICES OF VIOLATION RELATED TO COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS
1-Philadelphia
​39
0
0
2-Wilkes-Barre
14
3
3
3-Harrisburg
20
3
1
4-Pittsburgh
78
6
1
5-Altoona
10
1
1
6-Williamsport
17
4
0
7-Punxsutawney
8
6
0
8-Erie
12
2
2
9-Allentown
29
8
2
TOTALS
227
33
10
Violators may face administrative citation by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Continued violations put an establishment’s liquor license at risk, either through the citation process or upon application for renewal. More information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.
Complaints regarding licensees not complying with COVID-19 mitigation mandates may be directed to the BLCE at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the BLCE’s online complaint form.

Baltimore Ravens organization members test positive for COVID-19

STATEMENT FROM THE BALTIMORE RAVENS

Late last night, we were informed that multiple members of the Baltimore Ravens organization tested positive for COVID-19, and those individuals immediately began to self-quarantine.

We have started the process of contact tracing, and during this time, the Under Armour Performance Center will be closed, with all team activities conducted virtually.

We will continue to work closely with and follow guidance from the NFL, team doctors and our medical trainers.